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Hunting is my passion, as I can imagine it is the passion for most everyone here. I was born with this drive to pursue wild game, to harvest an animal and bring to my table the meat provided. Ever since I was old enough to remember I have been hunting. Growing up in Dallas, Texas with a father who has a passion for the outdoors I can remember long sits in the deer blind, the pre-dawn hours nestled into the tall milo fields waiting on the first signs of doves and of course the great fishing that the lakes around our house provided.

Buck Fever

I am an avid bowhunter, but when the Missouri firearms season rolls around our archery season closes for ten days. Don’t get me wrong, we are still able to archery hunt but it must be on our firearms deer tag. Around this time of year I am usually very busy with my job as a wildlife biologist assistant, and am usually looking to put more meat into the freezer. This season I was lucky enough to harvest a doe early season with the bow, however I have yet to fill any of my other archery tags. I decided to take advantage of our rifle season and hunt for the two days that I had available. My husband, who has only been hunting since last season, joined me in our blind.
IMG_1143We missed opening weekend, but I vowed to hunt that second weekend. Our morning started with frost and temps in the low 30’s, with little wind after a cold front had pushed through the day before. It seemed like perfect weather and I was hoping that we would see action as soon as the sun rose. But we sat for two hours without seeing a single deer, not even the squirrels were wanting to move. I was hoping to get my husband onto his first buck, and with the cold temps and the minutes ticking away I was unsure on how long he would want to sit. If it had not have been for the buck making the fatal mistake of stepping onto a twig when he entered into the field I more than likely would have missed him, instead the silence of the woods gifted me with the sound of that single twig breaking under his weight.
A quick glance confirmed that it was a deer standing to my right, and indeed it was a buck. We all know the feeling when we see them, their antlers shine in the light of the sun and they stand proud and tall. He looked huge with my quick glance and I felt my heart start hammering inside of my chest. All I could hear was my heart pumping blood through my body, and I was trying so hard not to shake. I told my husband to get ready and he was having trouble getting the gun into a comfortable shooting position in the tight confinement of the blind. I checked to see where the deer was and caught him moving away from our location and further away. He was behind a large tree, hidden from my husband but still visable from where I was sitting.
IMG_1152Without asking I grabbed my own rifle and stuck it through the window of the blind, making as much noise as I could in the silence of the woods. I had one moment to see my crosshairs land on his shoulder and I heard the crack of my gun as it fired its .243 round into his body. I watched him run off, confused on if I had even hit him. And then it hit me, I had taken my husband’s opportunity to harvest a fine buck and instead allowed buck fever to get the best of my emotions. Luckily my husband could have cared less and was happy that I had harvested a buck and we now had more meat in the freezer. We found my buck 60 yards from where I had shot him. Buck fever has always been a problem of mine, but I think that if we lost that feeling than we have lost the essence of hunting. I love that rush of adrenaline when I see a deer. I do not even want to loose such an emotion that is as raw as buck fever. I hope that you all get to feel that rush, get to let your arrow or bullets go free and that you find yourself caught up in the happiness that is over powering after a successful harvest. Good luck to you all during the late season, and may you all feel your own version of buck fever!

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